Dusting off my pencil case and heading back to School

Back to school!

I’m sitting in the rather splendid café at the Church Mission Society headquarters in the old city of Oxford. Enjoying a latté and gathering my thoughts ready for my second day at college. I’m studying on the ‘Pioneer Mission Leadership Training’ course for the next three years, God willing. And so far judging by the support and encouragement I’ve received, I’d say He’s willing.

First Impressions

 
The first thing which struck me was the quality of my classmates. Such a diverse array of back stories and dreams. Some travelling from as far as Belfast each week for the day’s study, people are clearly invested in developing their pioneering gifts. I really had no idea what to expect before yesterday, and I already feel like I’ve learned a lot from sharing stories, dreams and frustrations with my fellow students.
 
Another thing which strikes me about my class came as quite a shock. Sitting in the classroom I feel altogether, well, average. And boy is it liberating. This is a course built from the ground up for people who think outside the box. It’s so refreshing to have creativity and diversity celebrated and cultivated rather than feared and quashed. My classmates, like me, are all dreamers, and ‘dreamers who do’.
 

Looking forward

 
As fun and exciting as sharing all the dreams and visions has been the course does involve some serious work. I feel a little apprehensive about this, but the flexibility in the course to be creative in presentation of our portfolios is a relief. We’re looking more at that today. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing (who knew!) but my old fear and hatred of the walls of academia is rearing up a little.
 

Check it out

Some really valuable work is being done here, and I’m excited to be a part of it. If you too have the ‘gift of not fitting in’ I’d encourage to take a look at some of the excellent resources on their website.
 
They also have an excellent video which gives a good introduction to the Pioneer Gift:
 
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